lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
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lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Right. Lets finish this. Before we hit the Talents and Skills, lets figure out the starting Honor and roll for hit points. An average of all seven starting stats is a 13. With a +6 from the Magic-User university and a +3 from Charisma. So a start of 22. Which is actually a little high. When play started you'd want to find a way to burn some of that off, maybe buying a +1 on a die roll or something. But that 22 Honor means another 9 build points. For hit points at start its 20 + (d4+d6)/2. Which ends up being a 22...

First off lets figure out those bonus skill points. Thats 4d6 from Hogwarts and 4d6 from the school of hard knocks. 11 on the first and 16 on the second. Next bonus skills. For the academic two, we'll grab Appraising and Alchemy. Adding that to the Agriculture (automatically at 50 because its a prerequisite for Farming), Farming and Entrenchment Construction. We also get Tracking free for being a Grel. And we'll take Grunge Elven as starting language for free. Plus of course Thieves' Speak for free, which is basically street slang and hand signs. For those five build points for social skills we'll take Berate, Diplomacy, Idle Gossip, Street Cred and Parley...

Next we'll go away from skills to grab some Talents. Starting with Photographic Memory. At five points it allows an extra spell to be memorized for every spell level. A must for any magic-user. Then Perfect Grooming. Two points to skip taking the Grooming/shaving skill and an automatic +1 to Comeliness. Another two for Simultaneous Backstab, allowing the pc to dual-wield a backstab attack. And we'll than double up on Dagger Bonus, giving him a +2 to hit with daggers. Thats nineteen build points...

Back to skills, taking Modern Languages twice (Common and Elven), Reading/Writing, Upkeep, Weapon Maintenance, weapon proficiencies in Dagger and Rapier and Arcane Lore. All that comes to thirteen build points. So we're now at twenty nine left. We're going to want Spellcraft as you can use it try and identify magic items. But that has a prerequisite of Arcane Lore, so we need to get that to 50. Each skill has a starting stat and a skill modifier die. You roll the die, plus your honor die and add that to the starting stat for the beginning value in the skill. And those dice explode, meaning if you roll max you reroll at -1. We'll just figure Arcane Lore for now. Thats Intelligence (16) with a d6. The honor die for 23 Honor is a d3. So we get a 3 and a 2 on the first buying of the skill. For a starting value of 21. But we've got those 11 free points from University so we'll toss those on. So we're up to 32. Arcane lore costs 5 build points, while Spellcraft costs 2. We've got 16 skill points from Urchin days, but I'd like to use those on the thief skills. Still, we'll drop six of them into Arcane Lore, leaving 10 for improving stuff like trap detection and hiding. Ok, up to 38 now. d6 +d3 = 5 again. 43 total. Once more. 2 +3 +2(-1)= 6. 49. Last time. A six total. So Arcane Lore at 55%. Leaving four build points. Enough to take Spellcraft twice. Int (16) +2d4 +2d3 = 33. d4s explode fairly often. Which is why a battle axe (2d4 damage vs. medium size) can end up doing a lot of damage...

Then we just spread the 65 +10 points thru the eight thief skills. Then starting money. -2 on the roll for being 2nd youngest, but +35 from the magic-user tables. 74 +33 = 107. 170 +d20 G.P. And inherited family weapon and armor. And of course the 80 +d8 G.P. of stashed loot. Meaning the character will be well equipped to start. Still have to figure out the rest of the starting skill percentages and buy equipment. But thats minor book-keeping at this point...

Needs a name. Timoth "Nightwolf" Crispin. And make his alignment Neutral Good. I've got the general ideas for his back stories. Parents being traveling petty crooks who were caught in a decent sized human town. They were imprisoned, where the father died. Kids spent several years on the street running with (and probably running) human youth gangs. Timoth eventually joined the local guild, probably caught the attention of guild's wizard contact. Who sponsored him to the local mage university. Then figure out where in all that he developed M.P.D. Maybe something that happened during his militia period? Which is why he was then sent to work at a farm? Have to think on that...
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Right, back to continue the creation of a Grunge Elf Magic-User/Thief with MPD. So the next step is breaking out the Spellslinger's Guide to Wurld Domination. Yeah, I know. Spelling world with a u is when the alternative spellings go from quirky to stupid...

We begin with starting spell selection. All mages get Read Magic and Detect Magic and then as a generalist three more. One offensive, one defensive and one misc. Offensive: 57 - Light. Defensive: 89 - Smell Immunity. Misc: 85 - Remove Thirst. Wow. Grel boy must have skipped all the good class days...

Ok, as a multi-classed character we skip all the specialization, double specialization and other alternate magic-user types. And we can't pick up a package, though most of the MU ones aren't the good anyway. So we go right to the section on schools. First off, school location. Family honor and social class give no modifiers being average. A 14 puts the pc's schooling at an average size town. For type of school we've got a +2 for being in a town and +1 for high Intelligence. Modified roll of 18, so a full University.

Next Quality of Master: Nurture and Education. Nurture is +2 for Charisma but -4 for being at a University for a total -2 modifier. And a modified roll of 14 for Absent-minded. For Education we've got a +1 for Intelligence and +4 for being at a University. A modified 15? Bleah. We'll blow a build point for a reroll on that. 16? We can do better. 24? There we go. Caring & Gifted. In addition to the bumps to some of the next table rolls, that gives +2d6 skill percentage points and a free academic skill. So our mentor was a classic absent-minded genius. Which might explain the weird initial spell load-out...

We've got a -6 on Graduating class size, which gives a modified roll of -2. So an over-crowded graduating class. Classroom equipment has a +5, with a modified roll of 25 for "anything needed". Another bonus 2d6 skill points and free skill. A +10 on Graduation Rank, modified roll of 22 and Magna Cum Laude, 2 pts shy of Summa. And next a d1000 roll for overall Quality of Education with a total modifier of +390. 716? Nope. Thats a bad result. Reroll. Ok a 1223. A +5% on learning 1st level spells? Not great but I'll take it...

Then we check to see what happened that was interesting while enrolled. A d3 roll gives 3 events. 94 - School was land-grant university. Meaning the pc had to train with the local militia. Some extra fractional points to Str and Con, gain a year in age and lose a spell (no loss with his selection and we'll give up Smell Immunity) and get another skill. In this case Entrenchment Construction. Enh. A free skill is a free skill. Next event is Freshman 15. So the scrawny elf ate too much fried food. Though with the militia training it could be good bulk. Last event is Part Time Job. Another year in age and from his job as a Farmer (really?) more free skills. Agriculture and Farming...

Lastly are Honor Modifier and Starting Money Modifier. +13 on the first, nothing on the latter. A +6 to starting honor and a +35 on the Starting Money roll. I could roll up the starting spell book construction, but unless it came up something weird like stone tablets or bundles of rune sticks its not that interesting...

So on to the thieves' back history. Which probably happened before the magic school bits...

Away with the Spellslinger's book and out with the Griftmaster's Guide to Life's Wildest Dreams. Once again we skip all the alternate classes and packages. Though the rogue's book has some of the cooler packages, like Jesters and Loremasters and Pirates. But past all that right to the Urchin Days background tables...

First off is Reason for Turning to the Street. Middle class and general thief mean no modifiers to most of these charts. So a straight 7 - Parents were petty crooks who got locked up early and mostly gave bad advice. A -3 to the next table but an extra build point. A modified 11 gives joined a youthful street gang. For Type of initial training we get +1 for the street gang thing and a +2 for Charisma. A modified 14 - Guild membership...

For Quality of Mentor: Technical Expertise we've got a +5 from Guild membership and Intelligence. A modified 19 means an excellent mentor. Another +3d6 skill points (which can be used for Thief specific skills in this case) and 2 more bonus build points. Next Quality of Mentor: Knowledge of the Street, +1 for Wisdom but -1 for Guild membership. A straight roll of 11 - Average. Does give another bonus build point that can only be used for social skills. Then its overall Quality of Training. We've got a +6 here. Modified 17 - Above average for another +1d6 skill points and +4 build points (social or musical instrument skills only)...

Now its event time again. d4-1 gets a 1 so nothing. Pity. With rogue classes you want to get events and then to get arrested as often as possible. You can pick up the best stuff in jail. Two tables left, Contacts and Loot stashed. Guild membership means a +1 on contacts, and we roll a modified 21. Which is a contact who is a Lord. Could be interesting. Loot Stashed is a 65 for 80+d8 G.P. stashed...

Still to go skills and talents. Time for another break. Told you this took a while...

Hackmaster

Feb. 24th, 2009 02:35 pm
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Randomly rolling the remaining five requests we get Hackmaster for this week. Now when I run it I have various house rules to reduce the reliance on flawmongering (taking large numbers of character flaws) to boost stats and starting talents and skills. Plus limitations on how high starting stats can go. But for this exercise we'll go strictly by the book. Which means seven rolls of 3d6 and d00 to start for starting stats...

Strength: 12 (83)
Dexterity: 13 (23)
Constitution: 11 (28)
Intelligence: 14 (100)
Wisdom: 13 (71)
Charisma: 12 (59)
Comeliness: 14 (02)

Wow. For me, thats a remarkably good set of rolls. Of course nothing really stands out for picking a class. As for race, lets go with one unique to the system. We'll make a Grunge Elf or Grel (violent, semi-barbaric and known for eating faerie kin to steal their magics). So that means standard elven bonuses to surprise, 60' infravision, 90% resistance to sleep and charm spells, detection of secret and concealed doors and free movement thru undergrowth. Plus the Grel specific bonuses to being surprise, +1 to hit with spear or bow, Grel War Cry. Also this gives a +1 to Dex (to 14) and a -1 to Con (to 10) and Com (to 13)...

Ok, looking at those stats we'll go with a Magic-User/Thief combo. So as of right now starting build points are 13 for race and 12 for class (picking the best of the two) giving a total of 25...

Next we do the generic character priors. Starting age for an elf is 100 + 5d6 then +2d8 for magic-user and d2 for thief. All those dice give me a 27, so 127. Don't need to roll for handedness, since all elves are ambidextrous. Height and weight are gender affected, so I'll go ahead and flip a coin. Heads, so male. 60" tall and 99 lbs. Sounds skinny. Social class next. Being grel pulls a -40 on this outside of home culture. So a 76 means Upper Middle Class, but only to other grel. Everyone else he's strict Middle Middle Class. No modifiers later for that. Circumstances of birth is a modified 61, making him a legitimate birth. Mother is alive, but father is dead. A result of loving parent for the mother earns a bonus 5 build points. A 16 on the Family Honor Table gives an Average Honor result meaning they are non-notable. A 68 gives four siblings with a 63 putting him at 2nd youngest. Next the dice give him a two older brothers, an older sister and a younger brother. The oldest one having died already. The surviving older brother and the younger brother both are devoted to him, while the older sister is a bitter rival. Next would be starting money, but I'm going to use the class books so we'll push that back for now...

That means potential flaws are next. I'll skip the class book ones since most of them really suck and I don't want to choose between the two classes. I'll choose to randomly roll 3 times on the Flaw tables. A 76, 92 and 96. So a roll on Tables 6G (Major Mental) and 6I (Major Personality) twice. 6G: 47 - Psychotic Aversion to Monster (11). Not terrible. 6I: Multiple Personality (11) and 40 - Truthful (11). Hmmm. That second could be awkward for a thief. I guess my Grel will be more the outdoor scout kind of thief...

So now I've got 63 total build points. I like to put 1/3 towards stat bumping, 1/3 towards talents and a 1/3 toward skills. So twenty points for stats. Each point earns .25 on those percentile numbers. I'll bump Intelligence to 16 (25) for five points. And Dexterity to 16 (23) for eight points. The last seven I'll dump into Charisma, putting it at 14 (34). That gives a +1 to Comeliness and a +3 to his starting Honor...

So now we break out the class books. We'll go with the Spellslinger's Guide first. No wait, have to roll for that 2nd personality. 96 - Add another personality. *glares at dice* The last time this happened I ended up with a dark elf with 9 personalities. I liked LeJean though. Stupid bunny rabbits. Right. Rolling twice more. 03 - Young member of the opposite sex. 93 - Add another personality. Ok, yeah this is looking familiar. 53 - Dwarf. 08 - Elderly member of the opposite sex. Right. A little Grel girl, some Grel granny and a dwarf. Interesting. Also another 10 build points. I'm going to take a break now, before cracking the class books. Hackmaster can take a bit of time as you may have guessed. Which is why the sometimes ludicrously lethal GM vs. Player attitude the books and the designers encourage can be frustrating...
lurkerwithout: (Reading cat)


Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble Vol. 1 by Jolly Blackburn

Ah KoDT. THE gamer's gamer comic. For years now its embraced, mocked and encouraged us in our mad, expensive hobby. Not just role-playing games. But board games. And video games. And card games. All games. There are few others that tread the same ground (Kovalic's Dork Tower or Kurtz's PvP). But none truly capture the madness of the hard-core gamer so well...

The Bundles of Trouble are 3-issue (later ones jump up to four issues) collections of the comic (really more comic/gaming magazine) Knights of the Dinner Table. Just the KoDT strips, with the normal articles, secondary comics and reviews removed. Which (though they only get put out as back-stock of single issues dries up) makes them a good way for people who don't WANT those extra bits clogging up the comics...

And Volume One introduces the core cast of the Knights. B.A. and the Untouchable Trio +1. And the basic set-up of Gamemaster vs. Player in an endless cycle of one-upmanship. This first volume also gives game store owner and old-school gamer Weird Pete, former Knight Johnny Kizinski and game company owner and designer Gary Jackson. But its mostly the Knights. Gamemaster B.A. Felton, often harried and stunned by his players actions. Bob, working out his frustrations and lack of "real" life at the game table. Dave, the reckless fool. Brian, the damn near autistic number cruncher and rules lawyer. And Sara, the girl. The one who wants social interaction and to move the story along. Except of course when she doesn't. It is a rare gamer indeed who doesn't look at the Knight's table and recognize someone they've gamed with. Or a few of them. Or all of them. Or even looks at their weekend game and thought, "Damn, this is us."
lurkerwithout: (Lil' dream)
My barely started Hackmaster short story...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
While roaming the wilds of the internets (actually while using Google to dodge a block on LJ) I found the partial archives of purged threads from the KenzerCo Forums. Including the third and final adventure of the NetherDeep Raiders. This was likely the last try I made at running a HMA sanctioned game either online or offline. I was pretty proud of this game. It had a lot of player turnover and it ended up fading away at the end. But a two year run on a Play-by-post game? I'll always hold that as a damn good run...
lurkerwithout: (Lil' dragon)
Ok, for my fellow HackMaster players and GMs; Belkar gives a perfect example of Knight Errant Justification. Ironic given he's a Ranger/Barbarian...

New Game

Jan. 7th, 2008 11:11 am
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
I managed to push [profile] spoonyone into agreeing to play HackMaster again. Though its just him and [profile] kafeixuesheng for now. Spoony rolled up a half-elven ranger girl, while B ended up with a one-eyed cleric of the gawd of cats and luck with a grudge against the church of Sylvanus. I look forward to him attempting to mug druids and knock down standing stone circles...

Anyway I'm going to start them in the same general area where the last group finished when that campaign faded away. In fact just as the I'm working the two into the setting Goldy and her band of pirate hunters will have sailed off. I'll probably work out a way to add an npc or two to give them a bit more of a threat value...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Well things are beginning to pick up a little. At least after the hour and a half long search for mIrc server that worked for everyone. We even managed to get in some combat, against a mess of skellingtons. Who mauled the crap out of my half-ogre. Thank the gods for doubled starting hit dice...

Party tacticals are still at the level of "Monsters! Charge! Fire spells! Kill kill kill!"
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Joe the Crappy Fighter is dead! A giant mongoose snapped his neck. Yay! And next time will be the arrival of Chauncy DeViers aka Lord Smoke, Grey Elf Infiltrator and his puppy Zuul...

Gaming

Jun. 17th, 2006 04:42 am
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Well the Thursday HM game was pretty slow. Various people were late due to real life stuff and so we started about 2 hours late. And then I never really had a good chance to attack foolishly or open random chests or what not to kill off my crappy fighter. Maybe in 2 weeks when Eric runs again...

Friday Board Game started a little late as well. But it was ok, as me and one of the others played the Foglio card game The Works, based off Girl Genius until we could get a big game going. Then we got a 6 person game of Arkham Horror going. Pretty cool game. A bit like Descent or Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Sadly I had to leave for work just as a game of Apples to Apples was starting up...

Tomorrow afternoon looks to be the start of [personal profile] mossfoot's online WE Star Wars game. Which I will hopefully be able to wake up in time for...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
So this week was Dan's turn as GM. Not much happened, killed some fire beetles, wandered around until we found the dungeon entrance. I also rolled up my replacement character for next week. Eric, the other GM, wants to witness character creation.

So the starting stats for Joe the Fighter.

Str 13, Dex 10, Con 8
Int 12, Wis 6, Cha 7, Com 8

I used some build points to jump the Con up a point and the Cha 3. But after that I just took the bare minimum of skills and plan to see how quickly I can get this waste of time killed out...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Note to self. In future adventuring groups, make sure at least ONE freaking player is going with the stereotypical elf with a long bow...

TPK thanks to 1. a premptive attack during the parley only doing 3 damage (from a weapon that frequently does over 20) 2. a single sleep spell and 3. a pair of charm person spells...

I liked that character. And I hardly ever try to play paladins...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
This a big group, 8 players. With a Pixie-Sprite and TWO Pixie-Faerie mages. And the groups only thief is the OTHER half-ogre. Even for HackMaster this is a weird mix...

Day Off

May. 7th, 2006 05:35 pm
lurkerwithout: (Shiny)
1st night off in a week and I was tempted to volunteer to work tonight. We had two people call in sick and one who's Dad just had a heart attack, so the Scottsdale hotel is short staffed. But I really need this night off to recharge...

So I'm just going to relax online, catch Grey's Anatomy later and finish up my HackMaster character for Leif's online game. Joseph Dredd, paladin of Anubis. Total freaking headcase...

New Game

May. 4th, 2006 04:40 pm
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Starting in a new online HackMaster group this evening. Hopefully things go smoother than my last few tries with chat based gaming...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Since I can't think of anything else right now, heres some more gaming stuff.

Kobold & Gnoll PCs )

I should finish up working on Goblins, Hobgoblins and Half-Oni...

Question

Jan. 17th, 2006 05:16 pm
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Anyone know what the Japanese for "man" would be. Or "human". I'm working on a variant half-ogre subrace (ogre mage/human) for HackMaster and am trying to find the right name for it. I'm thinking oni-"human"/"man" would work...
lurkerwithout: (Mal's pretty hat  Angie creator)
Noah had to cancel Call of Chtulu, between school, his movie and family he's been pretty fried. So it was some more HackMaster. Don't get me wrong, I love running the game, I just don't want to see the others burn out on it...

So this week the group had dinner with some civic leaders. During which Mile's managed to light a table on fire and generally emberass his character. But the group was still recruited to become pirate hunters. Once the refit of their ship is complete they'll set out to break the pirate fleet of the mysterious Queen Anne...

But in the meantime they took on a sidequest to investigate the disappearance of the daughter of one the city's premiere armorers. Kendal used his thief contacts to find out that the girl had been grabbed by a "strange man in a red mask" and taken into the sewers. And he also acquired a partial map of the probable location of this man. So the group headed on down. They decided to avoid the several side areas meant to simply whittle them down and hit the slaver lair right off. Of course, they did miss the alarm trap on the ladder leading down. But they managed to fight their way thru the slaver's simian orc guards to get at the pair of darkmen kidnapping women to sell in the NetherDeep...

Despite getting hit by a silence spell and a web, they still managed to win thru and take down the dangerous mutl-classed killers. They killed the mage/assassin and took the cleric/assassin prisoner. And even rescued the girl. This set them up well with the girl's family and earned them some points towards making peace with the Circle of Unseen Hands thieves' guild...

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